Saturday Swarthy: Charlie Carrick (Pascal on “The Borgias”). “Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requires. Nescio. Sed fieri sentio et excrucior.”
God qua therapist. Seems to get it exactly right: “You can see this therapeutic dimension most clearly when evangelicals respond to the body blows of life. The churches I studied resisted turning to God for an explanation of tragedy. They asked only that people turn to God for help in dealing with the pain… . This may seem theologically simple-minded — indeed, even some evangelical Christians find it so. But there are lots of ways to explain things in this sophisticated, scientifically aware society. What churches like these offer is a way of dealing with unhappiness. Tragedy, and prayers that apparently go unanswered, can actually strengthen believers’ sense of a bond with God. That’s when they feel that they most need Him.”
Michael J. Klarman of Harvard’s law school provides a nice summary of the marriage equality movement’s history as well as some predictions about its future, e.g., “A study by statistician Nate Silver finds startling results: in 2013, a majority of people in a majority of states support gay marriage. By 2024, he projects, even the last holdout, Mississippi, will have a majority in favor.”
Here’s a curious stat that I missed back when Pew published this report in October of 2012: 14% of American Atheists “say they believe in God or a universal spirit.” :-O
http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Religious_Affiliation/Unaffiliated/NonesOnTheRise-full.pdf (See page 48.)
The film seen by the most viewers? According to the Library of Congress, “The Wizard of Oz.”
"Because of its many television showings between 1956 and 1974, it has been seen by more viewers than any other movie."
From the merits brief filed in the United States Supreme Court by the opponents of California’s Proposition 8.
"The only substantive question in this case is whether the State is entitled to exclude gay men and lesbians from the institution of marriage and deprive their relationships—their love—of the respect, and dignity and social acceptance, that heterosexual marriages enjoy. Proponents have not once set forth any justification for discriminating against gay men and lesbians by depriving them of this fundamental civil right. They have never identified a single harm that they, or anyone else, would suffer as a result of allowing gay men and lesbians to marry. Indeed, the only harms demonstrated in this record are the debilitating consequences Proposition 8 inflicts upon tens of thousands of California families, and the pain and indignity that discriminatory law causes the nearly 40,000 California children currently being
raised by same-sex couples. …
If a history of discrimination were sufficient to justify its perpetual existence … our public schools, drinking fountains, and swimming pools would still be segregated by race, our government workplaces and military institutions would still be largely off limits to one sex—and to gays and lesbians, and marriage would still be unattainable for interracial couples. Yet the Fourteenth Amendment could not tolerate those discriminatory practices, and it similarly does not tolerate the permanent exclusion of gay men and lesbians from the most important relation in life. ‘In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.’ Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 559 (1896) (Harlan, J., dissenting).”
Good stuff! Oral arguments will take place in late March.
"Being straight and standing up for gay rights is a statement that says ‘this is everyone’s issue.’ We are not all free unless we are all free. Just because I was born into the elite class of straight Americans who have maximum rights does not mean that I won’t fight as if it were me being denied human rights."
- Jack Antonoff
Congratulations on the Grammy to Jack and the rest of Fun!
Walter Cronkite in 1967: “In the 21st century it may be that no home will be complete without a computerized communications console.”
This is a fascinating clash among the Establishment Clause, Westhampton’s historically not being Jewish-friendly, fear of a neighborhood having “too many” Orthodox Jews, and a religious practice that is pretty much unknown outside Jewish circles.
I don’t see how the creation of an eruv out there would violate the Establishment Clause.